• Manila, Moscow in talks on energy, tourism deals


    THE Philippines and Russia are discussing potential cooperation in the energy and tourism sectors.

    Philippine Ambassador to the Russian Federation Carlos Sorreta recently met with Russian officials as the Duterte administration aims to pursue closer ties with Moscow.

    In energy, the Philippines and Russia wanted to have an exchange of information, experts and technology.

    Sorreta suggested developing of business-to-business (B2B) linkages between Russian energy companies and their Philippine counterparts.

    “Russia is a global leader when it comes to energy and had recently invested more time and focus in developing its technological edge in the area of alternative and sustainable sources of energy,” he said.

    Roman Marshavin, director for international cooperation of Russia’s Ministry of Energy, expressed interest in increasing current oil sales to the Philippines, given the country’s increasing energy needs.

    Both officials agreed that cooperation in the area of energy will be greatly enhanced through an agreed framework.

    They hoped that such framework could be ready in time for President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Russia, slated in the first half of 2017.

    Sorreta and Oleg Petrovich Safonov, head of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism, discussed the possibility of adopting a roadmap on tourism cooperation that would identify specific areas and actions to implement the Agreement on Tourism Cooperation, which was signed in March 2006.

    Safonov said the Russian Tourism department was open to having a roadmap and that, since the last agreement was signed 11 years ago, it was time to adopt a new kind of cooperation on paper.

    “Tourism helps our peoples understand each other better, which in turn can contribute to building closer relations between our countries,” Sorreta said. MICHAEL JOE T. DELIZO


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